School of Theatre and Dance celebrates 100th anniversary

Marcus Donaldson

Kent State’s School of Theatre and Dance celebrated its 100th anniversary with a scholarship dinner followed by the opening of the main stage musical production “Plain and Fancy” Friday.

Students from the dance program performed a number, choreographed by assistant professor Erin LaSala, for the guests and donors at the scholarship dinner to give back.

Senior integrated mathematics major and dance minor Julia Grabosky said it meant a lot to perform for those in attendance.

“It not only allows us to make a personal connection with the people who are donating money to provide us with the scholarships, but it allows them to see … what we do with it and where we want to go with it and how they’re helping us,” Grabosky said.

The cast of the upcoming November musical “On the Town” performed its opening number, “New York, New York” for guests at the banquet, which also served as a celebration of School of Theatre and Dance alumna Roe Green’s birthday.

“We actually call her our Fairy Godmother,” said sophomore theatre studies major Shamara Costa, “because she provided this beautiful lobby for us … a few years ago, and she’s one of our biggest supporters, so it’s really nice to get to show them … directly what it is that they are supporting and … all the talent that we have to offer.”

The cast of “Plain and Fancy” performed for a nearly sold out show, selling 475 tickets for their opening night Friday. The musical is a tale of romance and differing cultures set in an Amish community in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. The production will run until Nov. 3.

J.R. Campbell, director of the Fashion School, presented Green with a birthday gift on behalf of the College of the Arts. Campbell designed and presented a green scarf with “ROE” cutouts as a play on her name.

Green would also receive another award that night. Before “Plain and Fancy” began, graduate theatre studies student Colleen Longshaw presented Green with an alumni award for her many contributions to the School of Theatre and Dance.

Contact Marcus Donaldson at [email protected].